Harvest Festival Tea: Appetizers and Mini Desserts
I am a firm believer that just about any appetizer can be turned into Teatime fare. And it’s such a fun way to eat- small plates and tasty morsels- a little bit of this a little bit of that. You get to taste-test everything and a wide array of different flavors can be served! The turkey and mushroom crostini are savory little tidbits coated with swiss cheese. The Cucumber-turmeric tea sandwiches have so many flavors- typically cucumber sandwiches are very plain but these are filled with lime juice, fresh mint, and turmeric- so refreshing. Deb Perelman’s roasted sweet potatoes make for perfect little teatime canapes. As for the desserts, they are tiny little explosions of flavor. The Vanilla Madeleines pair well with the smooth, but not too rich, Chocolate Pots de Crème. Teatime has a reputation for being girly or frilly but some of my best memories are having my dad crash teatime and enjoy the fancy little two-bite savories I lovingly crafted. Teatime for all!
Harvest Festival Tea: Appetizers and Mini Desserts
Turkey and Mushroom Crostini
Serves: 8 crostini
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ shallot, finely minced
- 8 oz. container cremini mushrooms, stemmed and diced small
- 6 slices turkey lunchmeat, torn into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon finely minced chives
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 slices swiss cheese, torn in half
- 8 slices Italian bread or baguette, brushed with olive oil and baked in a 350-degree oven until toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baguette slices. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, melt butter over med-high heat. Add shallot and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until shallot is translucent and mushrooms are cooked through. Stir in the turkey, chives, mayo, and mustard.
- Divide mushroom mixture evenly among the 8 slices of bread. Top each slice with 1 cherry tomato and half a slice of swiss cheese. Bake until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Deb Perelman’s Sweet Potato Canapes
Serves: about 16 canapes
Adapted from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen
- 2 sweet potatoes, preferably long and thin, cut into 1-inch coins
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- ¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1 celery stalk, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
- 2 tablespoons craisins
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- Red wine vinegar, to taste
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and brush both sides of sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip each sweet potato slice and roast for an additional 10 minutes, until both sides are golden brown.
- In a small bowl, combine pecans, shallots, celery, parsley, craisins, and feta. Drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Arrange cooked sweet potatoes on a platter on top each with a tablespoon of the celery mixture. Serve warm. Thanks Deb!
Cucumber Turmeric Tea Sandwiches
Serves: 18 sandwiches
Adapted from Teatime Holidays 2019 page 73
- 6 slices Pepperidge Farm thinly sliced white bread, crusts removed
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and Pepper
- In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, lime juice, mint, turmeric, and salt and pepper, to taste. Spread each slice of white bread with cream cheese mixture. Layer cucumbers on half of the bread slices and top with the remaining half of bread slices. Using a serrated knife, cut each sandwich into thirds.
- Sandwiches can be served immediately or be refrigerated, covered with damp paper towels, until ready to be served.
Vanilla French Madeleines
Serves: 24 madeleines
French Tea- Special Issue 2021
I made several alterations to this recipe. Firstly, I scaled it down considerably, as the original recipe made far too many madeleines than could be eaten in one day, as madeleines really are best the day they are made. You too could make alterations to this foundational recipe. It may be nice to add a bit of lemon or orange zest, or even lime zest, come to think of it. The pretty seashell edges of a madeleine pan are ideal for summer teatime entertaining, but they look truly amazing any time of year. Madeleines are the epitome of teatime entertaining- they are simple to make, have a delicate flavor, and are quite dainty! These are perfect served alongside a Chocolate Pots de Crème, as well as a simple cup of tea. What initially interested me about this recipe was that the madeleine pan was brushed with butter, flour, and sugar which gives lovely sweet edges to the madeleines. Previously, I had only ever brushed the pan with butter and flour, but this sugar addition is a really smart idea to imbue the madeleines with an additional caramelized edge and crunchy sweetness.
- Room temperature butter for brushing the pan
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or vanilla bean paste
- Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- Brush the wells of two madeleine pans with room temperature butter, dust with sugar then shake off excess by turning the pan upside down and hitting the back with your hand, then repeat the process with a dusting of flour.
- Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla bean extract on med-high speed for a full 5 minutes. The mixture will become noticeably lighter in color and fluffy.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the eggs and blend on low speed until flour is absorbed. Drizzle in the butter until incorporated. Add the remaining flour, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix until everything is incorporated. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes so that it will thicken slightly.
- Scoop a scant tablespoon of batter into the well of each madeleine pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the tops spring back when touched. Serve warm or at room temperature. Madeleines are best eaten the day they are prepared.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Serves: 4 small ramekins
French Tea: Special Issue 2021
I’m not a fan of super-rich chocolate desserts which is why I was delighted to find that these chocolate pots de crème ramekins are not overwhelmingly sweet or rich. Rather, they have a luxuriously smooth and creamy texture. These ramekins are also perfect for teatime as they actually are flavored with tea. I like to use a black tea that is heavily flavored. The one I chose is imbued with fall spices and orange zest which compliments the chocolate beautifully. A garnish of raspberries and whipped cream makes them photo-ready!
- ½ cup high-quality semisweet mini chocolate chips, chopped small (I use Ghiradelli)
- Scant 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 bag of one of your favorite tea’s (I used Bigelow’s Constant Comment Black Tea which is flavored with fall spices and orange)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and mint, for serving
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place 4 small ramekins in a baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream and milk over high heat until steaming. Remove from heat and allow tea bag to steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag and whisk in chocolate chips, stirring until chocolate has melted.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt. Gradually stream chocolate mixture into eggs, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup.
- Divide chocolate mixture evenly among the four ramekins. Pour hot tap water halfway up the sides of the baking dish creating a water bath. Be careful not to splash any water into the ramekins themselves. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the chocolate ramekins have set. Allow to cool in the baking dish. When cool enough to handle, remove from water bath and serve at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 days
- Immediately prior to serving, garnish with a dollop whipped cream, raspberries, and mint, if desired.